Dawn Garrison Hooks May 01st, 2019 - 12:15:17
Circle hooks and J-hooks are the two most commonly found types of saltwater bait hooks. There is an ongoing debate by saltwater anglers as to whether circle hooks are better than J-hooks and I believe each have their own advantages when fishing in different conditions and scenarios. Saltwater hooks often come pre-sharpened and are designed to corrode over time, causing little harm to those fish that were lucky enough to have won a battle with a heart-broken fisherman.
A common misconception is that small trout hooks (size 8 to 12) aren't large enough to hook and land large trout. This is simply not true. Very large trout can and are hooked and landed using trout fishing hooks that are quite small. If you don't believe me, just ask any seasoned fly fisherman. Flea flickers have to use hooks that are very small to match certain hatches. Just as a reference, I regularly hook and land trout in the 3-5 pound range using size 10 gang hooks. When it comes to trout fishing hooks in most instances smaller is better.
Many trout fishermen don't pay nearly enough attention to their trout fishing hooks when fishing for the multi colored beauties known as trout. They seem to labor under the delusion that a "fishing hook is a fishing hook", without ever realizing that their hooks are almost as important as any single piece of fishing gear that they use while trout fishing.
So you are about to start fishing. First things first, you need to bait your hook. Do you know the correct way to bait you hook? Below are some tips that will help you attract and catch more fish by simply baiting your hook better.
Circle hooks are designed to hook the fish without much rod movement by the angler. Just leave it in the rod holder and as the line gets tight and the rod bows down, the pressure penetrates the hook into the corner of the mouth of the fish and the fight is on. I felt this was a no brainer in current areas, but I tried to picture how these specialized hooks were going to work in lakes without current. I tried to imagine how a fish swims off the bait in a lake as opposed to a river. Without current, the fish could swim in any direction with the bait. The fish might swim at your boat or they might swim crossways with your boat, making a tight line hook up with a circle hook very difficult. A year ago I learned from some other catfishermen that Daiichi came out with a modified circle hook that would work in all situations. If the fish didn't swim away from the boat, the angler could still set the hook on the fish! Last year I gave the new circle hook called the Circle Hook Lite a try.
Offset circle hooks however, carry a much higher mortality rate than non-offset circle hooks, as the offset itself leads to many of the problems associated with "J" type hooks - specifically having a propensity to catch and penetrate any soft tissue that it comes into contact with.A study by the Marine Resources Research Institute shows the deep-hooking rate of offset circle hooks is 23%, significantly higher than non-offset circle hooks and also have a mortality rate approaching that of "J" type hooks.